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Coal secretary hid facts from Manmohan Singh, CBI tells court

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New Delhi: The then coal secretary, H.C. Gupta, concealed material facts related to allocation of a coal block in Jharkhand’s Rajhara town from the then prime minister Manmohan Singh, who also held the coal portfolio, the CBI told a court here on Friday.

Advancing arguments on the issue of framing of charges, Senior Public Prosecutor V.K. Sharma told Special Judge Bharat Parashar that Gupta concealed facts related to Jharkhand’s Rajhara North coal block allocation, involving Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd. (VISUL), Manmohan Singh.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that Gupta, along with former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and others, conspired to favour VISUL in the allocation of the coal block.

Sharma told the court that the state government had recommended two other companies for Rajhara North coal mines but not VISUL.

This fact was not highlighted in the file noting sent by Gupta to Manmohan Singh, he added.

Even the steel ministry had not recommended the name of VISUL for the coal block, the senior public prosecutor apprised the court.

Initially, the state government had not recommended VISUL, but later former Jharkhand coal secretary A.K. Basu insisted on the firm’s name at a meeting of the screening committee.

In his defence, Gupta maintained before the court that VISUL was eligible for allocation of the coal block. On Wednesday, Gupta said that the final decision on the block allocation was taken by the then coal minister Manmohan Singh.

The court posted the matter for June 30 for clarifications.

Others accused in the case include VISUL director Vaibhav Tulsyan, chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan, government officials Basant Kumar Bhatacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, and alleged middleman Vijay Joshi.

They have been charge-sheeted for cheating and criminal conspiracy under Prevention of Corruption Act.

-IANS

 

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PM Modi Slammed for “Destroying” CBI: Congress on Alok Verma’s Case

The Congress on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Supreme Court reinstated Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, saying he has been exposed for "destroying" the premier investigating agency.

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Image: IANS

The Congress on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Supreme Court reinstated Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, saying he has been exposed for “destroying” the premier investigating agency.

“Modi adds another first to his list. After being the first Prime Minister to be exposed destroying the CBI before the Supreme Court, after having ruined the CVC’s (Central Vigilance Commission) credibility (requiring supervision by former SC judge), Modi has now become first Prime Minister to have his illegal orders set aside by the Supreme Court,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a series of tweets.

His remarks came soon after the Supreme Court judgment pronounced on a plea by Verma and NGO Common Cause challenging the government’s decision on the intervening night of October 23-24 to divest Verma of his charge as head of the investigating agency.

Reminding Modi that the government comes and goes but the integrity of the institutions survive, Surjewala hoped that the judgement would be a “lesson” to the Prime Minister about the strength of country’s democracy and the Constitution.

“Modiji please remember, governments have come and gone. Integrity of our institutions have survived. Let this be a lesson to you about the strength of our democracy and the Constitution. Let this be a lesson that howsoever despotic you may be, law catches up in the end,” he said.

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Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Wikimedia

Firing salvo at Prime Minister, the Congress leader said: “After making CBI Chief suffer the consequences of your illegal decision for three months, will you show the courage to return three months of lost tenure? Unless you are afraid of investigation into Rafale scam.

“Modi equals to ‘Muzzling of Democratic Institutions’. First, you lose four economic advisors in a row including two RBI Governors. Second, four Supreme Court judges go public on Judge (B.H.) Loya, then you destroy credibility and competence of the CBI and CVC. This is your model of ‘minimum governance, maximum government’,” he added.

Also Read- Shenzen, China Switches To Completely Electric-powered Taxi Fleet

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi questioned the Supreme Court verdict asking what has changed now.

“Before the Supreme Court verdict; Alok Verma didn’t have powers of CBI Chief, couldn’t take any decision on policy or investigation. After Supreme Court verdict: Ditto,” Singhvi tweeted. (IANS)